tv [untitled] July 14, 2011 11:30pm-12:00am PDT
thank you. >> i am margaret reed. i and the staff supervisor for local government, minus the health care works -- health care folks. every year, you and supervisors have a choice as the city budget. every year, the rec and park commission since you a budget with cuts in it, and a budget from the department that says this is how we are going to raise money.
every chance, you can say no and not support the budget with this item. unfortunately, we do not get the know. we get, "i am sorry. i know it is hard." the recreation and park commission has a choice. it has a choice to say we are not going to sacrifice staff. every year except this year, it says no to us, to the workers, to the citizens of san francisco. we have a choice right now. i do not like this legislation. i think it could be better. you have a choice coming up. you have a choice in the budget. we have $15 million to $30 million in ad backs, but we cannot come up with all we need to fund the unused clubhouses.
$3 million. you cannot figure out a way in your power to put that in the budget? that is where we want to come out on this. >> my name is lori liederman. i am a recently retired union representative. the recreation and parks department has been gradually but systematically taking public land and facilities out of the public domain through a variety of means, including increased fees, and the leasing of public spaces, making those facilities
available to the public. that is why this ordinance has been introduced. it is a modest measure. it does not attempt to turn back that which has already been taken away, some would say unfortunately. they are not prevented from charging rental fees. it does keep free what is currently free. it would stop the further conversion of public parks and recreational facilities to private spaces. recreation and parks has responded by wringing their hands and amping up if you're mongering propaganda campaign. they say it cannot raise money this way, there will be layoffs of custodians. they already laid off the recreational directors. fear is not a viable foundation for public policy. these are hard times for working people. i spent 25 years as a union
representative and i take layoffs seriously. but that threat is the most overused threat in management's pocket. it gets pulled out and waved around to undermine resistance to other harmful agendas that are not in the interest of workers or the general public. entry fees and leases do not create jobs. only steady streams of significant revenue to taxes can do that. send and siskins have always worked to support public safety -- san franciscans have always worked to support public safety and the schools. why would we do that if you're going to double dip? >> i have lived here since 1973 in san francisco.
>> i have been shocked as i have learned more about how the parks department is run. parks people talk about parks department property. after they fired all the recreation directors, they hired marketing people to market the parks. parks are not in venues, as they are described. they are not prime real-estate, platforms for advertising or special interest promotions. they belong not to the department, but to citizens. we paid taxes and support them. we support roads, libraries, and fire departments. if the department needs more money, it should go to the people and demanded, not to corporations. of course they are marketable, but they are not for sale. you could get lots of money if you rented everything out are
least it out. here is something on the website that actually invites people to compete for spectacular sights, beautiful venues, fantastic events that include a comic locations. that is why there are parks. they are for us to enjoy. they should go to the people with their own initiative. do you want parks to become the cash cow in these hard times? creativity will kick in. we all support our parks. we think ginsburg should ask for more money from the general fund and not anticipate by being so proud of getting cuts every year. supervisor avalos: perfect timing. thank you. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon. i do remember the 60's.
and i remember when everything in the park was free, everything. the arboretum is the last free thing, and i am getting ready to change myself to the gates and to a hunger fast. i am going to tell you what i do not like about this ordinance. it does not roll back the damage by this come modification of the commons. listening to a lot of well- meaning people who sound intelligent and care about the park, i do not understand it. i am baffled. it is so simple. the parts should be free. the recreation facilities should be accessible. this is such a modest measure. it does not do nearly enough, as far as i am concerned. but there is almost hysterical opposition. what are they afraid of? they might discover call -- coal
under strawberry hill or natural gas. they could not be set out to do -- lease it out to do frakking. i will say in the spirit of the steel day "liberte pour l'e stattate." >> let me say foremost i would love to take that offer up and visit fell off at 3:00 a.m. on a tuesday for free in one of his clubhouses. unfortunately, the bottom line is it has been year after year underfunded and defunded.
the start of public-private partnerships were to try to leverage those resources we each get with what we can do, and work together. we offer free programming about 11 hours a day. the only requirement is being a resident of the city and county of san francisco. we do robotics programs, cooking programs. we have a drumming program i am pleased with. our ability to do that and work with the parks is in my mind the great strength of the public- private partnerships. we continue to strive to be more open and accountable to the community. thank you very much.
>> my name is elias moussa. what is clear is we have a budget crisis. as far as the parks have gone, the policy response seems to be one that in the past couple of years has started to dismantle the relationship. this is a radical policy response that is basically segregating the park resources by means of ability to pay. it is an end to price strategy. this enterprise policy can work.
enterprises can be great, efficient policies. they are not fair and that are not equitable. it is not designed to be fair and equitable. it is designed to maximize and extract unfair profits. that is not what a government does. the people who did not choose this policy -- it was foisted on us by ideology by the current administration. this administration is choosing to go in the way of the enterprise. we need to augment our self against it and we need to vote on it. this is a simple measure that will draw a line. as supervisors, at your job, as
i understand it, is to balance between them and us. please do not shirk the responsibility. >> walter paulson. ♪ you've got to have parks miles of parks you have to fix every park a good budget starts give it some heart but you've gotta have parks i hear laughter in the park rain with a better change i love a better way with the happy part i feel inside we run under a tree
thanks to what the rules committee, it's going to be free there in our park, love under stormy skies we want to hear park laughter in the change her read down to the birthday stone pyknic -- hurry down to the birthday stone picnic there will be laughter and take -- cake and fine wine ♪ >> did he earned a spot as an opening act? never followed children and dogs. i am glad we are not subject to this ordinance. i do want to say that in working
for the last four years, the park has shown so much -- some things you do not recognize it immediately. i think what it took as many years to develop the concept for this one show -- the way the internet was concerned with ideas and innovation, ordinances that say words like permanent and forever scare me a lot. i think it is very important that we allow activities and good ideas to flourish in the parks, particularly in tough economic times. when we started a music festival, we had no idea that it would turn into a wine and music festival that provided 2500 jobs a day that brought in more than
$50 million in revenues to the city of san francisco. we are not subject to this, but i think it is important that when somebody else has an idea for the park's that the wording does not affect the ability for good ideas. i have learned a lot today about the intent, and i think it is admirable. but i would be careful to limit good ideas for the parks. >> my name is jackie battle and i work for san francisco recon park. i have taken the day off to
speak concerning the rec centers. having all of our centers open would be ideal. as you know, we are still in the recession and the city is dealing with a budget shortfall. if this initiative passed on the november ballot, it would handicap the recreation department and force more layoffs. i worked in the omi neighborhood at the rec center. with the new organization of our department, we have been able to do more with less. i have been able to offer programs such as robotics. that increases u.s. technology skills and engineering. we have a variety of dance class is for all ages, such as hip- hop, as the state board, a karate class is. our summer camps do have these. we do offer scholarships for these programs. in the community i worked in,
there is a larger range of challenges. some people need a 100% scholarship. some people only need a small scholarship. 80% of the participants in our summer camps have 100% scholarships. i have stated before it would be a hardship in our department if we have to open the recreation centers with no funding. >> i am the interim executive director of san francisco pride. i have very serious concerns about how this legislation is written. i understand that the intent has been clarified that it does not include nonprofits that use rec
and park space to host our events. my concern is that the programming exemption is now worded in the same language as the exclusion that says all this will be precluded. our event is not necessarily considered programing in terms of how this might be considered if passed. this concerns all the events of our city that we might be in a little bit of a legal challenge if this legislation does become law. it would be on us to have to litigate. our only defense of the framers intend. as worded, it is clear that we need to reconsider the wording. it would put a very serious burden on those who depend on this space. we need to be cautious about
understanding that from our intent is not always going to save us in a legal battle. i think this puts us in a very bad spot. >> i live in supervisor of the los's district -- supervisor avalos's district and worked in supervisor came -- work in supervisor kim's district. i appreciate your initiative regarding open up to the public. there does need to be a lot more work. i came in here not knowing enough what all of this is about. after hearing speakers and supervisors, i feel a lot more needs to be done with this initiative.
this should not just go out to voters. the south of market is a neighborhood that richly deserves it. it needs to have its day open. it is a tough area. there is nowe were let go. i work with part-time people to keep it welcome for people to come into. i really agree with the place being open. you cannot rush things. in anything, you need to have patience. see where it goes. a lot of special interest groups have things they want to get past and get done. people need to be able to speak. i am talking about everything.
if we can somehow get together and write it out a little bit better and understand what is really going on, i think it would be more self-serving for the residents of the city of san francisco. thank you. >> i am a facility coordinator at joseph lee recreation center. i do not know a lot about this bill. i am learning a lot. i remember being here last year and the year before, sitting up here fighting for jobs. the same bill you are proposing i think would eliminate jobs. where would the money come from? the first place to go is staff. it stuff will be cut, you have
to get the money. i hear great ideas, but not any solutions. i think we need to put the bill back and looked at it again, like he said. i heard another young lady say we are double dipping. if we are double dipping, every city agency is double dipping. look at the water department. look at muni. i pay the water bill every month. but my kids have to go out and buy the water. we are all double dipping. thank you. supervisor avalos: thank you. next speaker, please. >> i run off the grid in san francisco. i hope you reconsider the third party permiting for vendors and parks. off the grid was started a year ago. we employ 12 people.
we work with over 50 mobile food restaurants that each employee anywhere from four to 10 people. we contribute over $60,000 to the parks department. we are a for-profit business. we are a new business. san francisco is about encouraging innovation and helping entrepreneurs work hard. thank you for your consideration. i have a permit. supervisor avalos: this is not about your permit being taken away. >> in the future for similar uses. it would affect us if we were to do a food pot. -- pod. supervisor elsbernd: the intent is that permits do not apply, but dealing with does not reflect that. >> the ordinance states the
department has spent millions of dollars to refurbish parks only to have them closed and leased to private entities. as someone who has tried to watch facilities be renovated, go to years of public meetings, and then have them unstaffed, there is a real source of frustration and anger. frustration and anger is not a good basis for proposing an ordinance. it is frustration and anger that led to things like proposition 13. it is also the basis of the tea party economics going on in washington. there have been severe cuts to the park and recreation department. assuring in a policy of privatization of lands. you provide the appropriation, including the people who signed the ordinance.
part tenrec gets their annual appropriation. in effect, -- parkin iraq -- park and iraq -- reckoned part gets their annual appropriation. they have expanded programs of modestly priced activities with scholarships for those who cannot afford it. i fail to see that is a basis of criticism. all recreation facilities shall not be released to private entities, but shall remain open and accessible to the public, yet there is no money to keep them open and accessible. i tend to be wary of something, an ordinance that promises something for nothing. we have gone through really hard times. this is not an easy time to question the motives. i think this ordinance should be
redrawn. thank you. >> jim lazarus, a former member of the recreation and park commission. i urge the supervisor and his colleagues -- you have an opportunity in the next few weeks to pull this measure from the ballot. this has unintended consequences we do not even understand at this hearing. the department, when i was a kid, you did not pay to go to the tea garden. the zoo was free. times changed. the board of supervisors 50 years ago was willing to fund 90% of the budget out of general fund revenues. but that era is gone. if you look at what we have tried to do as a city through numerous the ministrations and general managers is to fill that gap with generated revenues. think what would not have happened if this ordinance had
been passed 50 years ago or 30 years ago, or 10 years ago -- a zoo admission? a coffee shop in union square? outside lands would not have happened if this had been past five years ago. that is a million dollars to the department. this will lock in mediocrity in this department, or it is going to result in an welcome cuts in general fund subsidies for other departments that i do not think you want to consider. i urge you to take this off the ballot. if we are serious about needing an ordinance, let us have some hearings and go through the normal board of supervisors process. supervisor avalos: next speaker, please. >> my name is lorraine bedford. i am here as a resident of
district 11. i want to thank you for the hard work you have done for the community. i am a city employee on my own time. i am concerned about the unintended consequences of what might happen with this ordinance. i witnessed firsthand -- i live across the street from a recreation center -- the wonderful things that happened in terms of people and programming and usage in the last 18 months. it has been tremendous. a big part of it for me is seeing how the scholarship fund has really made a difference for the people in that neighborhood, and for people outside the neighborhood who come into use the facility because of the changes that happened. i would really like you to reconsider the ordinance. supervisor avalos: thank you. next speaker, please. >> i on a business called in these hot dogs.
-- called annie's hotdogs. the parks department has been wonderful to work with. because of the contract i have gotten, i have been able to hire 15 new employees and expand my business. we have a total of 26 employees. i work with my son. i think the people that run the parks do a really good job, and the general public, although they have all these concerns, should not be involved in these decisions. that is my personal opinion. i think you hire people to do a job and they should be allowed to do their job. i have been in business in san francisco